Check out the invitation of Prof Balaram, The Director of IISc, for the Centenary Conference.
and (on the mirror site)
Research can be lonely, and
Prof Haritsa says, “a Phd should prepare you for the loneliness of academic life”.
At the same time, bhOndOO found this to get rid of loneliness:
bhOndOO was in the same loop: running benchmarks, experiments failing, making changes, compiling, running benchmarks, experiments failing, making changes, compiling, running benchmarks, … Side-by-side, he was chatting with an old school-friend, who was telling bhOndOO about his life in the company and the current recession in the market.
“Whatever bullshit people say, India is dependent on US economy. So much of work gets outsourced here. If we don’t get work, the companies will die! We still don’t have many companies that operate entirely in Indian segment and will survive. I am actually expecting something similar to the boom in 2001. The mushroom growth of small web-companies abruptly stopped after that. But what I don’t like is the unresponsiveness of our Indian politics. They just don’t want to see the opportunity. They are just waiting and watching…”
bhOndOO was more interested in Pointer Analysis currently, than the recession story. bhOndOO replied to him,
The school-friend was puzzled, “What?”.
bhOndOO realized that he typed make in the chat-window instead of the terminal. To save himself from embarrassment, “I mean, people like you should make the economy stronger. You are the future of the Indian market. You should come forward and become entrepreneurs. You are the only hope of India’s future glory. blah, blah, blah…”.
There was a silence for a few seconds (presumably, the friend was dreaming), and then the friend wrote,
“I know, I know. I am thinking on those lines. But you know, there are so many things involved. Getting a venture capital is now not as easy as it was a couple of years ago. Moreover, you should have a good team. blah, blah, blah…”.
bhOndOO realized that he was feeling sleepy — less because the experiments were not giving expected results, and more because of the speech from the friend. He interrupted his friend’s blah,
“Patty, I have a meeting right now. Shall we chat later?”.
“Which meeting is this?”.
bhOndOO, without thinking, “With my advisor.”.
“But you only said sometime back that he is on leave???”.
Shit! When did I say that! Then to cover up, “No, no. With my another advisor — co-advisor. I have two advisors actually.”.
“Oh! It must be very painful. I report to two managers. Actually, because of my ability to finish work early, they asked me to work on two projects: 50% time on one and 50% on another. Now, both the managers individually expect 100%! I don’t know what these managers really want. They consider us as working machines. Irrespective of what our condition is, they want us to do the work with full enthusiasm. They should look at themselves, they have no job except going from one meeting to another. Both my managers spend 90% of their time in office in meetings. And these meetings are so useless. blah, blah, blah…”.
Silence for 30 seconds.
“bhOndOO, are you there?”.
bhOndOO was already at the T-board. He looked up and felt better to see only 6 persons in the queue. He joined the queue. Soon, he realized that a boy and a girl, and another two girls were together and this gave him a mental boost: Virtually, only 4 persons! Great!
The first person was a student from CES. He started chatting with the shopkeeper in Kannada.
“Do you have samosa?”.
“No samosa, Sir. We have Veg Puff, Idli, Vada, …”.
“No stock of samosa arrived today, is it?”.
“Yes Sir. The truck drivers are on strike, know. No supply of food material. Only medicines are supplied.”.
“Oh! At least that is good. When is the strike getting over?”.
“God knows, Sir. So much of politics involved.”.
“Ya, that is true.”.
“What do you want, Sir?”.
The shopkeeper handed over an Idli coupon and returned a 5-rupee coin.
bhOndOO felt like making an Idli out of the student. He looked angrily at the student (from behind) and controlled himself.
The second was the boy-girl pair, the boy from IPC and the girl from OrgChem. They starting talking amongst themselves.
The boy asked, “What do you want?”.
“Let me see… Umm…”, and she started reading the menu on the sideby wall. After mugging up the menu, she said, “I want a Puff.”.
bhOndOO felt like giving her a big Puff.
The boy turned to the shopkeeper, “One Pepsi and …”.
The girl, suddenly, “I also want a Pepsi!”.
“Okay, two Pepsi and a Puff.”.
The shopkeeper dutifully asked, “Veg Puff or Egg Puff?”.
The boy looked at the girl. The girl thought for a while. bhOndOO felt like ages passed.
“Egg Puff.”, the girl decided.
“Egg Puff.”, the boy acted like a postmaster.
“One Egg Puff, two Pepsi Kudappa.”, the shopkeeper shouted on his boys.
The shout received another shout as a reply, “Egg Puff Illa.”.
“No Egg Puff, Sir. Only Veg Puff.”, the shopkeeper conveyed the message.
The boy looked at the girl.
The girl made a face, as if saying, You can’t even keep an egg puff, thought for another while and, “Okay, Veg Puff.”.
The postmaster posted the message, “Veg Puff.”.
“Thirty rupees, Sir.”.
With a stern face, the boy handed over the last 100-rupee note of his scholarship and received the last 50- and 20-rupee notes of his scholarship.
bhOndOO cursed his school-teacher of Chemistry.
Next was the girl-girl pair. For 10 seconds, the girls continued their laugh. The shopkeeper and bhOndOO kept looking at them with blank faces, the latter having developed a reddish tinge on his face. bhOndOO finally recognized that the girls were from MGMT and were waiting for each other to pay! The girl having lesser ability to handle embarrassments took out a 10-rupee note, and
“One tea and one idli.”.
bhOndOO calculated that the two ‘one’s used in her sentence were redundant, she could not have got more than that in Rs.10. But bhOndOO is from CSA and does not understand the MGMT tactics. The girl took the coupons (along with a chocolate for 50 paise) and left the counter!
The other girl, having better ability to handle embarrassment, was looking in awe at her colleague. The awe turned into a look saying She is so mean. She can’t even pay for me. Finally, she took out a 100-rupee note from her purse, gave a typical MGMT look at her colleague, and
“One burger, one Pepsi, one chocolate pastry, and a Lays Tomato.”.
The former girl gave a reply in awe. Although on the surface it said Wow, you look very hungry, it actually meant Don’t eat so much, you will burst out, fat lady.
Having received the remaining amount, the fat lady left the queue to collect the eatables.
bhOndOO was sufficiently irritated with the delay. But he felt relieved to see that he was now second in the queue.
The relief lasted only for a moment. A non-teaching staff member reached the shopkeeper from the other side, handed over a 5-rupee coin, and asked for Idli. bhOndOO got angry. He wanted to stop the person from doing so, but the employee was healthy. bhOndOO looked back in the queue. There were a few students and faculty members looking angrily at the employee, but behaved like well cultured and sophisticated members of the society — nobody spoke a word. bhOndOO’s mind spoke, I came here for a cup of tea. I have been waiting here for so long and someone is gushing in without bothering about the queue. This is an insult. I must rebel.
“Hello? Get into the queue.”, bhOndOO shouted.
The shopkeeper and the employee looked at bhOndOO. The employee replied, “I just want an idli.”.
Meanwhile, the shopkeeper handed over the idli-coupon to the employee and he ran away without waiting for bhOndOO to frame his next sentence. bhOndOO got red with anger and became cultured — he did not speak a word.
Now it was the turn of the man in front of bhOndOO. He seemed to be a visitor — he had a laptop bag on his shoulder, was formally dressed, and his hair was well-kempt. He had been quietly observing the happenings so far, without getting angry. He had read the menu on the wall 8 times so far and was carrying a 50-rupee note firmly since he joined the queue.
“Yes, Sir?.”, the shopkeeper asked.
“Amm… Do you have Masala Dosa?”.
“No Dosa, Sir. We have Veg Puff, Idli, Vada, …”.
“Can I get a Vada?”.
“Five rupees change, Sir?”.
The visitor tried to take out his wallet from the back pocket of his trouser. But the laptop bag posed hindrance. He pushed the bag aside and tried again, the bag came back whirling, and pushed away his hand from the pocket. bhOndOO, observing all this with tight lips, felt like holding the bag. But the visitor leaned sideways for the bag to settle away from his body (gravity wins) and managed to take out his wallet. bhOndOO saw the wallet full of visiting cards. The visitor then kept the 50-rupee note, without folding, on the back side of the wallet, opened a buttoned pocket on the front part of the wallet, and took out a 5-rupee coin. bhOndOO expected him to close the pocket now. But he opened it wide and checked how many coins were remaining. bhOndOO could not see it, but from the face of the visitor realized that there were no more coins left.
As if giving the last penny of his life, the visitor hesitantly handed over the coin to the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper was not impressed and tossed the coin into the coin box. He handed over a Vada-coupon to the visitor. The visitor, grabbing the coupon in left hand, buttoned the pocket, checked the back side of the wallet for existence of the 50-rupee note he had just put in, folded the wallet, leaned sideways, and kept back the wallet successfully into the back pocket of his trouser.
The visitor then looked around him on the floor to make sure he dropped nothing in the process and left the queue for getting Vada.
Finally, it was our hero, “Tea.”, bhOndOO shouted handing over a 5-rupee coin. The shout allowed him to express his feelings. He grabbed the coupon and 50-paisa chocolate (since tea costs Rs.4.50) and went to the tea-counter.
The tea-container was tilted — signifying that the tea was coming to an end. bhOndOO felt relieved that he managed it in time, and putting forth the coupon, shouted at the boy standing at the counter, “Tea.”.
The boy was unimpressed. He was busy taking out the cups from the hot water. After he took out 4 cups, he lifted the tea-container and went inside!
After 7 minutes, the boy came back with the container filled with freshly prepared tea. bhOndOO had already gone back to run his experiments.